Women have chronicled family history, recorded life events, written diaries, and journaled for all the centuries since writing became feasible through technological advancements. We still do, but for some of us this is just what we do, we write no matter what the limitations of our access to technology, there are lots of options when the muse is cooperative.
My muse has not been cooperative as of late. I am getting back on my feet after being sick for a few weeks. When I am not feeling well I am overly critical of everything I do. I make unfair comparisons of my self with others. I knew I was seeing things askew when I decided I could not read my friends and fellow mid-life bloggers because they made me feel jealous of their achievements. Now that I am getting back my balance and perspective I am wondering why I reacted in such an exclusionary fashion.
Speculation on motivational undercurrents in women’s blogging
The group of women I consider to be my peers in the blogging world are mainly women I have met through the BlogHer blogging network. That is where the similarity ends. We are incredibly diverse in our backgrounds. We all bring distinct elements of what it is to be a successful 21st Century writer to the table. There are many kinds of success.
- Being published on a high circulation site, paid or not, is considered success by some.
- Making money from advertising is considered success by others.
- High number of readers is considered the goal by some.
- Writing sponsored posts for a recognizable national corporation the goal for some.
- Being able to blow your own horn about success can be viewed as being a successful marketer.
- Reaching readers with a message is the pinnacle of achievement for others.
- Being considered a good writer by peer writers is an honor for many.
- Being an expert and blogging may increase the perception of a writer as a subject expert.
- Some blog as a necessity for their business site.
Women’s life situations differ dramatically too
One of my main problems, in addition to battling depression, is that my support network of one, the Hubby, is not all that supportive of anything I do that does not either involve working outside the home for at least 30 hours a week, or making more money than him. He recently told me, “I don’t know why you think you have to be a successful entrepreneur. Can’t you just go get a job?” Scientists are at times distant and diminish the importance of everything other than work similar to their own. I’ve heard this from spouses of both sexes with partners who are scientists.
Other bloggers have supportive and successful partners and spouses who underwrite their efforts with action and moral support, while others have partners who underwrite the costs of professional start-up, networking expenses, and travel.
That said, there are some folks who have come to blogging with perks that are unrelated to writing, per se, after having worked in an industry for years, and they bring their networks or expertise with them.
Still others just have the seemingly innate ability to sell, sell, sell themselves. Marketing is a skill that comes naturally to some.
Why write this?
At times I have to remind myself of all these things, so I thought that someone else might want to see them too.
Our lives and paths are very different. But each of our life situations bring blessings and curses.
I was born a writer. I was also born an anthropologist. Neither are practical occupations though they provide for an interesting life.
I was born poor, my family was not supportive emotionally, and my only mentor in life is a brilliant but eccentric academician.
By the time I was 30 I had learned to trust no one. By the time I was 40 I was so broken that I had to do a complete restart to re-evaluate and rebuild my self. Other than for my daughter, I felt I had nothing but a fair intellect that was positive in life. I wrote about subjects that were important to me, but I did not really write myself into the story.
Then on my 49th birthday I found myself again. Over the course of the 50th year I learned a great deal about who I was coming together as in this rebuilding. I decided to build a network of connections through the Blogging Conference I adopted as my professional conference. It was a good choice.
I think I am talking to all the women writers who face challenges that at times seem insurmountable. Allow yourself time and space, and if necessary even envy when you need to step back and regroup for whatever reason. If you have a talent that can share and a passion to do so, it will come back to you. You may not have money, the perfect support system, or luck, but you have the fire inside you and that burns as long as you live. I am convinced of it. If I can lose my way, get knocked down, become demoralized by comparing myself to others, and then get back up and start all over again, then you can too.
This year I will turn 57, and having been born in 1957, I have decided to consider this a magical point in my life. In the next month, or so, until my birthday, I will write a few personal pieces on what I know about — how to keep going. I am nothing if not tenacious and resilient.
Getting bogged down for a bit isn’t so bad. The bog or swamp goddess told me so. That is one of the reasons she, Nerthus, is my twitter handle. @nerthus.